Here I am. I've been back in the US for 4 days now and my head is still spinning. I know that I lived the majority of my life here, but seriously... I am dealing with some intense reverse culture shock (i.e. shock of your first culture). It's a real thing.
And so, while featuring these snaps taken in one of my favourite photoshoot haunts pre-European adventure, I figured I'd share a rundown of my first impressions upon re-entering America.
: There are way too many commercials. The other night, my mum and I were watching an hour-long show on HGTV. About a quarter of the way into it, I realized that we'd just spent more time watching commercials than watching the actual show. So I got out the timer and track if there really were more commercials or if I just felt like there were more commercials... and there were more commercials. Granted, we didn't have cable in Germany and the only shows I watched were on Netflix, Youtube or taken out from the library, but for real! Too many commercials.
: The commercials are ridiculous. I can't think of any examples at this moment (I think I'm trying to block them all out), but some of the products I've seen advertised over the last couple of days have really blown my mind. DO WE REALLY NEED ALL THIS STUFF? I've lived nearly 30 years without it, so I'm gonna go ahead and say no.
: So much heat! Our heat in Germany went out all the time and it took forever to repair. Also, our shower only had one temperature (that SB described the other day as "perfectly temperate"). I have heat everywhere! I can stand in a steaming hot shower for an hour if I so choose. Not that I recommend it. I know, super hot showers aren't good for your skin and are a huge waste of a precious resource, but the option is there.
: Everything is open all the time. I think I kind of forgot about this. I can go shopping on Sunday. I can get Starbucks on every other corner. There is so much stuff that is always accessible.
: There is way too much water in the toilets. I just don't understand the need for it.
: Everyone is driving a gigantic car. Unless I was on base, in Germany, the biggest car I'd see on a regular basis was a station wagon, but here in my yuppy town, every other person has an Escalade. Because everyone is huge and has to haul a ton of junk around all the time... right?
Basically, I think I
blocked out forgot what an intensely consumerist nation this is. I'm all for cool stuff, good food and surrounding myself with beautiful things, but really... I don't think I was quite ready to come back here! What happened to sustainable living?